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News, tips, and advice for small business owners

5 Tips for Managing a Seasonal Business

Posted On
Denise Stern

For many small business owners specializing in a seasonal business, be it winter or summer, a few simple and timeless tips can help you manage your peak season with less stress.

Two employees working on an apple farm and holding a crate of apples while talking.

Planning your strategy before your business season can help you avoid challenges. We’ve put together just a few ideas to kick off your peak season business success just in time for the holidays!

Be prepared

Be it the holiday season or a summer specialty, preparation for seasonal shoppers and business is key for small business owners. Rohit Arora offers a few suggestions for managing cash flow in “Tips for Managing Seasonal Cash Flow as Summer Finally Arrives” for Forbes. One important consideration: employees. Manage your costs and outlay by assessing your peak days and hours to enhance revenue cycle management. Know your overhead costs during slow or closed seasons (rent, utilities, insurance premiums, etc.) and have enough put aside to take care of such expenses.

Keep employees motivated

When hiring seasonal employees, make sure they know your expectations for them, writes small business expert Gwen Moran in her article for Entrepreneur, “4 Ways to Keep Seasonal Employees Engaged”. Train your employees on skills ranging from greeting customers to dealing with difficult situations. Knowing who to turn to is key to keeping your part-time or seasonal employees confident and motivated. Let them know that you value their loyalty, their ability to show up for work on time, and praise them often on their people skills.

Market your business during the downtime

Just because you run a seasonal business doesn’t mean you only market during your short business cycle. Adam Heitzman, the co-founder of Higher Visibility and writing for Inc., reminds seasonal business owners to market and grow your visibility before, during, and after the peak cycle. In his article, “6 Marketing Tips for Seasonal Businesses (Before, During, and After Peak Season), Adam offers multiple ideas for pre-season advertising and promotion, the importance of social media, and staying in touch with past and prospective future customers.

Negotiate with suppliers and vendors

Nathan DauSchmidt of cautions small seasonal businesses to watch your cash flow. As he mentions in his article, “7 Cash Flow Pitfalls of Seasonal Businesses”, it’s important to develop your business relationships year-round. One handy tip - negotiate with suppliers and/or vendors to make payments during post-season to take advantage of cash flow generated during the peak selling season.

Take advantage of direct marketing options

According to Ijeoma Nwatu, digital strategy and communications consultant in her article, “The Pros and Cons of Running a Seasonal Business” for the Small Business Administration, one of the benefits of running a seasonal business is the ability to take advantage of direct marketing. Maximize marketing and outreach goals by tailoring communications, services, and products to your customer base. Start marketing to your target audience in advance to gain benefits in awareness and attention to your upcoming peak season.

SurePayroll wants small businesses everywhere to succeed, especially during the holidays!

Check in next week for more helpful tips and advice for small business owners.

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